"This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone." - Taylor Caldwell
I was put in mind of some Christmas memories this past week. Things such as candlelight Christmas Eve church services, songs sung, and gifts exchanged. Here are some of my favourite memories from my growing-up years:
1. The Christmas Eve Candlelight Church Service Every Christmas Eve -- after supper and before gifts were opened -- we would all bundle up and make the trip to the church we attended to hear the Christmas story read and sing Christmas carols by the flickering candlelight. I still get chills when I hear a well-done version of O Holy Night.
2. Lit and Decorated Christmas Trees Every year we would decorated a Christmas tree. Sometimes the tree was a real one, other times it was fake, but every year it looked beautiful, especially at night with the lights aglow, sparkling against the tinsel.
3. Opening Stockings Christmas Morning No fat man came down the chimney at our house to fill a stocking, but that was okay. It was a treat every Christmas morning to get out of bed as early as possible (aka without making Mom and Dad mad that we were up too early) to see what treats were in our stockings. Still-remembered treats include mandarin oranges in the toe of the stocking, Icy Cups, and our first initial in chocolate.
4. Opening Gifts It was so much fun to not only open presents, but to see the reactions of family members as they opened their gifts. Adding to the experience was the enjoyment of eggnog and little nibbles as we waited for Dad to make sure everyone had a gift before any unwrapping commenced. But be careful about leaving your glass of eggnog unattended -- at least one of the cats we had over the years had absolutely no qualms about sticking her head in the glass and helping herself to some.
What are some of your favourite holiday memories?